Singapore

MHA investigating allegations against foreign preacher

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is investigating allegations made against foreign preacher Mr Lou Engle, who was granted a Miscellaneous Work Pass to speak here earlier this month.

In a statement yesterday, a spokesman said: "MHA is aware of the allegations that Engle had made certain statements, particularly in respect of Islam, during the Kingdom Invasion Conference 2018."

Last Sunday, media website RICE published a story regarding Mr Engle, who spoke at Kingdom Invasion, a three-day mass evangelism conference organised by Cornerstone Community Church and held at the Singapore Expo from March 13 to 16.

He is quoted by RICE to have said that he had "a dream" where he will "raise" the church in Spain to "push back a new modern Muslim movement".

MHA said that Mr Engle had been told to "keep clear of controversial subjects and not undermine social, racial and religious harmony in Singapore".

The spokesman said: "If there is evidence that Mr Engle had made statements that could undermine religious harmony in Singapore or had mixed religion and politics, we will take firm action."

Pastor Yang Tuck Yoong from the Cornerstone Community Church told The New Paper that it has made a police report about the RICE article, which police confirmed yesterday. He described the report as "inflammatory".

Mr Mark Tan, editor-in-chief of RICE, told TNP it stands by the article as it was based on actual events "observed in person by our reporter who attended the conference".

QUESTION

Mr Tan said: "The objective of the story was to simply question why a religious leader with such divisive and radical ideas (Lou Engle) was allowed to speak at a conference in Singapore.

"This is inconsistent with the hard-line approach taken by the authorities when they banned religious leaders from other faiths, who had also espoused divisive and radical ideas, from speaking in Singapore."

Last September, the MHA announced that it had denied entry to two foreign Christian preachers to speak in Singapore, as they had made "denigrating and inflammatory comments of other religions" in the past.

It has also banned Muslim preachers from speaking here for segregationist and divisive teachings.

COMMUNITY ISSUES